Sunday, June 22, 2014By:
Remember back in preschool when you had arts and crafts time? Remember how teachers always told you 'NO' when you stuck tape to random objects? This week all those ignored reprimands and my extra tape practice came in handy. Monday I learned the simple yet Nobel-prize winning process of material exfoliation, which I then proceeded to spend the better part of a week practicing. The idea is really straight forward, you stick your material to some tape, pull it off, then stick the tape with material on it on more tape, repeat; the idea being that each time you do this you pull off another layer of the material until you have a mono-layered sample. Mono-layered materials and profoundly useful and typically ridiculously difficult to obtain, yet this simple experiment done originally with Scotch tape manages to obtain them using processes most toddlers are reprimanded for. If a Nobel prize being given for playing with Scotch tape doesn't prevent one from stifling their kid's imagination I don't know what will.
My preschool practice wasn't all I did this week though. I was able to work with different methods of viewing the materials I had exfoliated. I talked quite a bit with the researchers here at NIST about what exactly I am working on and how that will contribute to the project as a whole. It has been very educational and insightful.
The weekend with the interns was a lot of fun. We explored more of DC. Adventured around the Smithsonian's sculpture gardens, rode on the National Mall's carousel, and just had a great time.